BHUBANESWAR: Incessant rains crippled life in several parts of Odisha on Thursday as the depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a deep depression, raising the likelihood of more downpour till Friday, officials said.
Low-lying areas in several districts, including Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Khordha were inundated as heavy rain pounded many parts of the state since Tuesday, they said.
The depression, which concentrated into a deep depression, moved westwards before crossing the West Bengal coast close to Digha. It is likely to weaken gradually during the next 24 hours, said Director of Bhubaneswar Regional Meteorological Centre, H R Biswas.
Under its impact, rain and thundershower is likely to occur in most places in Odisha, while heavy to very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy rainfall may lash northern, southern and interior regions, said a MeT bulletin.
Squally wind with a speed of 50-60 kmph and up to 70 kmph is likely to sweep areas along and off Odisha and West Bengal coasts in the next 24 hours, while the sea condition would be rough to very rough, it said.
In view of the adverse weather conditions, the MeT office advised fishermen not to venture into the sea along and off Odisha coast till Friday.
In view of heavy rain forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday evening ordered that all Anganwadi centres across Odisha will remain closed on Friday keeping in view the safety of children.
He also ordered the closure of schools in Bhubaneswar on Friday.
Collectors of different districts will take a decision in their respective areas after assessing the rain situation, the chief minister ordered.
Vehicular movement was disrupted at many places with roads getting submerged with rainwater. Life was affected in the twin-city of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
With rainwater leaving several areas marooned in Cuttack city, the administration declared closure of all educational institutions Thursday.
Life came to a standstill in the port town of Paradip which recorded a maximum 412 mm rain since Wednesday, the officials said, adding waterlogging in several areas of the Paradip Port disrupted loading and unloading of consignments.
A large number of vehicles were seen submerged in water as all low-lying areas in Paradip faced deluge.
Areas around the famous Sun Temple in Konark are under knee-deep water, while many places in the sea-side pilgrim town of Puri faced severe waterlogging, they said.
The situation is completely under control despite incessant rain in several parts of the state, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said.
There was very heavy and extremely heavy rainfall in some coastal districts of Odisha during the last 24 hours. The average rainfall of the state recorded for the last 24 hours is 54.9 mm, he said.
While there is no fear of flood at this juncture, a close watch is being maintained on the water level of rivers like Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarani, the SRC said.
Meanwhile, as many as 46 blocks in the state have recorded more than 100 mm rainfall with Erasama block in Jagatsinghpur district receiving the highest of 435 mm rainfall.
As normal life was affected in Cuttack city with two-feet high rainwater flowing over the busy Badambadi road, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) pressed into service around 150 high-powered pumps to drain out water.
In the state capital, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) deployed over a dozen teams to take stock of the situation in 67 wards and asked 40 engineers to stay on high alert to deal with any eventuality, a BMC official said.
The BMC has also opened a 24-hour control room and a special operation centre.
The water level in all major rivers in the state stood much below the danger levels except the Baitarani river, which is flowing above the danger mark of 17.83 metres at Akhuapada, but there is no cause for worry, said an official.
The SRC, who had on Tuesday asked the collectors of 26 of the 30 districts in the state to remain alert in view of heavy rainfall, said they were told to keep the administrative machinery in full preparedness to meet any eventuality and ensure the functioning of the control room round the clock.
Five districts have recorded average rainfall more than 100 mm. The districts are Kendrapara - 271.7 mm, Jagatsinghpur- 236.1 mm, Jajpur- 137.0 mm, Cuttack- 113.5 mm and Bhadrak- 105.7 mm, Sethi said.
Three more districts have received average rainfall between 50 mm and 100 mm. The districts are Puri- 79.2 mm, Khordha- 64.9 mm and Kandhamal- 54.1 mm.
Twelve districts which received average rainfall between 25 mm and 50 mm are Kalahandi- 49.9 mm, Boudh- 43.0 mm, Angul- 38.2 mm, Dhenkanal- 37.5 mm, Subarnapur-36.6 mm, Balangir- 34.6 mm, Nuapada- 33.6 mm, Bargarh- 32.3 mm, Nawarangpur- 31.2 mm, Keonjhar- 30.7 mm, Deogarh- 29.3 mm and Balasore- 28.5 mm. Remaining 10 districts have recorded average rainfall below 25 mm.
With this, the cumulative average rainfall of the state from June 1 till date comes to a surplus of 15.6 percent over the long-term average rainfall. Twelve districts have received surplus rainfall of more than 19 percent, whereas 18 districts have received normal rainfall (+19 percent to -19 percent) during the period, officials added.